Nicolas Alpi, Web developer

A blog about productivity, startups and me.

More About the Railsrumble and planettoaster.com

This week was the Rails Rumble week end.

For them who don’t know, the Rails Rumble is a 48H ruby web development competition. In this period of time your team (up to 4 people) has to create the best web application possible.

As last year, I went solo this year, and came up with Planet Toaster.

What is Planet Toaster? Why?

Planet Toaster is a planet creator, and RSS feed combinator. So you can easily create a new planet, and use the RSS feed of that into your favorite RSS reader. For each planet you subscribe on, a personal token is generated.

I came with this idea because I use multiple computer, all under Linux, and I wanted to use Liferea as an RSS reader. But, beeing already on Google Reader, I like the facility of managing the web feed online, and I don’t want to add my new feed on every computer each time.

So that’s it, now I can create my planet on Planet Toaster and add my RSS feed to my readers on every computer (* well nearly see bellow) and each time I’ll add a new feed, it will be synchronized to all my readers.

What is working, not working …

At the moment, you can register, create your planet, subscribe to a feed into the website that part work. A logged user will be able to suggest you some link to add to your planet. The feeds are grabbed fine from the different sources every hours, so that part is fine.

Now the dark side. I realized after the competition that I removed the code part saying “You should be able to access your RSS feed not logged in” … FUCK! This is why the token was made for. So at this time, you not be able to add your feed to your RSS reader … that’s bad. But this will be corrected after the Rails Rumble competition.

A feature I wanted to add, but I didn’t have the time was the search. This is also going to be in on next release.

What will be next

I really believe that Planet Toaster can be a good application, I’ll just have to improve it from this alpha stage (Please if you have some queries, just comment this post of email me). I want the user to be able to generate an .opml file with is current planet feeds in order to save datas, I want to improve the user interface, I want to add restricted access, DNS capabilities … well I already have a lot of ideas, so let see.

About the Rails Rumble competition

This year the competition was really intense. I had 7 hours sleep in 72 hours (I was working on Friday!), I had tons of Red Bulls, some annoying coding problems to resolve, but it was an amazing time!.
A was really lucky as I was able to share an office with other Rumblers (from Jiva Technology in Bristol). These are the guys I’ll work with in my new job, and they came with a really nice idea, a table football score/league manager called Wuzlr. They did an amazing job, congrat to Jamie, Theo and Peter.

Now you can help!

First, if you have some features request for Planet Toaster, please just let me know. And if you think that it deserve it, you’ll be able (later this week) to vote/leave comments for this app at my rails rumble team profile.

I wish good luck to every contestant, once again a big thanks to the Rails Rumble and the sponsors who did an amazing work.

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